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Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Did the Solar System Begin?

How Did the Solar System Begin?

To this day, the birth of our solar system remains a mystery. Scientists believe that some 4.6 billion years ago, a vast cloud of dust and gas, perhaps shaken by a nearby exploding star, collapsed into a great spinning disk. The attraction of gravity pulled so much material to the center that the pressure and heat there lit a nuclear fire, causing the sun to shine.

Rings of matter were left spinning around the sun. These slowly collected into balls of hot solids and gases, which cooled into the Earth and eight other planets, along with 140 known moons in the solar system. It is also made of asteroids, comets and lots, lots more. As of 2008, there are also five dwarf planets: Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Makemake & Haumea.

The sun has such powerful gravity it tries to pull the planets towards it. While the planets try to fly away in the end they are kind of in the middle floating around the sun. The Sun contains 99.86 percent of the Solar System’s known mass, with Jupiter and Saturn making up making up most of the rest. The small inner planets which include Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars make up a very small percentage of the Solar Systems mass.

For thousands of years humans were unaware of the Solar System and believed that Earth was at the center of the Universe. Astronomers such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton helped develop a new model that explained the movement of the planets with the Sun at the center of the Solar System.

Content for this question contributed by Pamela Lepore, resident of, Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, USA